Weiner Offered More Exposure; Johansson Nixes Sean Penn's Politics

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 03:32 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast Report: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Sean Penn, Scarlett Johansson Parted Over Politics
2. Hit Songwriter: Pop Is Descending Into Porn
3. NBC Apologizes for Omitting 'Under God' in Pledge
4. Clarence Clemons: Best Decision Springsteen Ever Made
5. Will Hollywood Rescue Anthony Weiner?
 

1. Sean Penn, Scarlett Johansson Parted Over Politics

Sean Penn fancies himself as part of the intellectual elite, especially when it comes to politics.

The actor has demonstrated his purported political prowess by cozying up to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez and by lending his support to Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich's run for the presidency.

The National Enquirer recently reported that Penn gave former girlfriend Scarlett Johansson grief over her "lack of education about politics and urged her to go to school." This proved "the last straw," according to the Enquirer's source.

"Sean suggested Scarlett take a political science course," the source said, "and it rubbed her the wrong way."

Johansson may be sensitive about her educational background since she did not attend college. In 2003, she applied for New York University's arts program but reportedly was not accepted.

Penn attended Santa Monica College, a community college in Southern California.

College coursework and degrees are not necessarily a measure of intelligence; case in point, our "educated" liberal elected officials.

On the other hand, Johansson is a big Hollywood star who is not beholden to the Democratic Party, which in a lot of folks' eyes makes her a genius among her peers.

Incidentally, she is registered as an Independent.


2. Hit Songwriter: Pop Is Descending Into Porn

Mike Stock is sounding the alarm bell for the future of Western culture.

The legendary hit songwriter is alerting the recording business and the public that pop music is morphing into pornography.

As a member of one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time — the U.K-based collaboration of Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman — Stock is responsible for more than 100 chart-topping hits and the sale of over 40 million records. Kylie Minogue established her career with several hits that were written and/or produced by Stock and his partners.

Stock recently penned an open letter to broadcasters and the U.K.'s telecommunication regulatory authority, criticizing music stars such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry. He included them in the current trend of performers who "have taken sexualised imagery, dance moves and lyrical content way beyond the limits of decency."

He pointed out that with "the Internet as your platform, you can watch last night's TV at this morning's breakfast. Young people all know how to use these features." Advisory stickers on records are ineffective, too, in today's technology, he noted: "You can't easily sticker a download."

His conclusion is unnerving in its exactness. "As far as music is concerned," Stock wrote, "it has been a slow but unmistakable descent into pornography. Why? Because it's easy. Put some sexualised dancing and scantily-clad females in the video, and get it on the box. Job done."


3. NBC Apologizes for Omitting 'Under God' in Pledge

The secular humanism trend is evidently alive and well at NBC.

The network disturbed and offended a huge number of people during the intro of the final round of the U.S. Open golf championship. Missing from footage of children saying the Pledge of Allegiance was the phrase "under God."

NBC apparently heard an earful from "fly-over" country and beyond. Hours later, in the midst of the program, an announcer apologized.

"We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago," the NBC announcer said. "When we did, it was our intent to begin our coverage of this U.S. Open championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship, held in our nation's capital for the third time."

"Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone, and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it," the announcer added.

The apology seemed to be carefully drafted so that it did not reference the specific omission of the words "under God," nor did the network claim that the redacted phrase was a mistake.


4. Clarence Clemons: Best Decision Springsteen Ever Made

Clarence Clemons, the musician who provided the authentic bluesy saxophone in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, passed away over the weekend.

Springsteen's first explosion onto the national music scene, his monster hit "Born to Run," showcased a distinctive sax solo by Clemons, a.k.a. The Big Man. Other tunes followed featuring Clemons' driving licks.

With his sax playing in the style of Red Prysock, King Curtis, Lee Allen and Jr. Walker, Clemons gave Springsteen's recordings a genuine connection with pure blues.

Hollywood was familiar with the classy musician, and Clemons acted in several films including "New York, New York" and "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure." He also did some television cameos on "Diff'rent Strokes," "Nash Bridges" and "The Simpsons."

As a young man, Clemons was an athlete attending Maryland State College on two scholarships: music and football. The Cleveland Browns offered him a trial, but a car accident thwarted his NFL plans, much to the benefit of Springsteen and all of us.


5. Will Hollywood Rescue Anthony Weiner?

Anthony Weiner reportedly once aspired to become a TV weatherman. Now, after resigning in disgrace, part of his wish may actually come true.

The camera-snapping lawmaker has been offered a guest-starring role on HBO's hit series, "Entourage."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, "Entourage" creator Doug Ellin relayed a message to Weiner, asking him to be part of the cast. If Weiner takes the gig, he will be playing himself during the show's final season, premiering July 24.

Another job offer for Weiner has arrived courtesy of former veep and current eco-cult leader Al Gore and Gore's cable network, Current TV.

MSNBC's former resident madman, Keith Olbermann, suggested to late-night host Jimmy Fallon that Weiner could have his own show on the Gore network.

Olbermann was asked how long he thinks it would be before CNN created a show just for Weiner. "Well, you know, I've got a 9 o'clock show that I am probably going to hire somebody for," Olbermann told Fallon, referring to the time slot that follows his own.

Fallon then asked Olbermann if he would hire Weiner. "Eliot Spitzer is doing OK on CNN at 8 o'clock," Olbermann replied, nodding his head yes.

Even if Weiner doesn't take one of the media spots, his future is all set, thanks to taxpayers.

According to the National Taxpayers Union, the Twitter-happy former congressman could receive a total retirement payment of somewhere between $1.1 and $1.3 million.

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